Digital Financial Services and Women’s Empowerment: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania

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What is it?

Can increasing women’s use of digital financial services raise their empowerment?  

The hypothesis using a randomized control trial with 152 female microfinance groups in Tanzania where treated groups were randomly switched to repay their loan using mobile money instead of cash is tested.


This exogenous shift in women’s use of mobile money for loan repayment substantially increases their use for other types of transactions. Women’s control over their finances increases, they have higher levels of empowerment in the house- hold and expenditures shift towards goods plausibly aligned with their preferences. These findings highlight the benefits of greater use of digital technologies for women.